Home Secretary Amber Rudd has rejected calls for a statutory inquiry or independent review into the clash between police and miners at Orgreave.

Ms Rudd said she made the "difficult decision" because "ultimately there were no deaths or wrongful convictions" resulting from the violent encounter in 1984.

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She acknowledged her decision would be a "significant disappointment" to the Orgreave Truth And Justice Campaign, which was calling for a full public inquiry into South Yorkshire Police's conduct during the clashes.


Ms Rudd rejected the campaign's assessment that had the events of the so-called battle of Orgreave been dealt with properly at the time, the Hillsborough disaster would not have happened.

In a written ministerial statement, she said: "This has been a difficult decision to make, and one which I have thought about very carefully.

"I have now concluded that there is not a sufficient basis for me to instigate either a statutory inquiry or an independent review.

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"I know that this decision will come as a significant disappointment to the Orgreave Truth And Justice Campaign and its supporters and I have set out in a letter to them today the detailed reasons for my decision which include the following points.

"Despite the forceful accounts and arguments provided by the campaigners and former miners who were present that day, about the effect that these events have had on them, ultimately there were no deaths or wrongful convictions.

"The campaigners say that had the consequences of the events at Orgreave been addressed properly at the time, the tragic events at Hillsborough would never have happened five years later.

"That is not a conclusion which I believe can be reached with any certainty."

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said: "It is a grave injustice that there will be no statutory inquiry into the battle of Orgreave."

Ms Rudd stressed that the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is working with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to determine whether material related to the policing at Orgreave is relevant to the criminal investigations following the Hillsborough inquests.

She also highlighted "very significant changes" in the oversight of policing since Orgreave, including "major reforms" to criminal procedure, changes in public order policing, stronger external scrutiny and more local accountability.

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These changes, including the creation of the CPS, the IPCC, and the introduction of elected police and crime commissioners, mean the policing landscape has "fundamentally changed" since 1984.

"There would therefore be very few lessons for the policing system today to be learned from any review of the events and practices of three decades ago," Ms Rudd said.

"This is a very important consideration when looking at the necessity for an inquiry or independent review and the public interest to be derived from holding one.

"Taking these considerations into account, I do not believe that establishing any kind of inquiry is required to allay public concerns or for any other reason.

"I believe that we should focus on continuing to ensure that the policing system is the best it can be for the future, including through reforms before Parliament in the Policing and Crime Bill, so that we can have the best possible policing both in South Yorkshire and across the country."

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In the Commons, Labour's former shadow home secretary Andy Burnham accused the Government of an "establishment stitch-up".

Speaking during questions to the Home Office, Mr Burnham said: "Given that the IPCC found evidence of perjury and perversion of the course of justice, and given that in the last month new evidence has emerged from former police officers who were at Orgreave of orchestrated violence and the mass manufacture of police statements, are we right in concluding the establishment stitch-up that she has just announced today is nothing more than a nakedly political act?"

There were cries of "disgraceful" and "shameful" from the Labour benches as Ms Rudd addressed the House, while dozens of campaigners in the public gallery could be seen shaking their heads at the Home Secretary's comments.

In response to Mr Burnham, Ms Rudd said: "No. The right honourable gentleman is entirely wrong.

"He chooses to politicise it, where there is none here. I had a meeting, as he knows, with the campaign group.

"We had a frank exchange of information about it, but the fact is just because he disagrees with the decision I have made, does not mean that it is the wrong decision at all.

"I have made it honestly, based on the evidence."

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The announcement provoked a furious response from Labour MPs.

Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh, who raised demands for an inquiry with then home secretary Theresa May in a 2015 letter signed by more than 100 Labour colleagues, said it was a "disgraceful betrayal of justice" and accused Ms Rudd of "leading campaigners up the garden path only to deny justice at the 11th hour".

Ms Haigh said that without an inquiry, evidence would be left to "gather dust" in South Yorkshire Police archives.

"For the truth to out, all records pertaining to Orgreave from police forces across the country must be released and there must be an independent reviewer to oversee it," she said.

"The Home Secretary today has put a screeching brake on the search for truth.

"For many communities in South Yorkshire the question of how police forces from across the country - not just South Yorkshire - which are supposed to be there to serve them could be used against them in such a brutal, deliberate way has left a bitter legacy. This decision will exacerbate that."

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Senior backbencher and Leeds Central MP Hilary Benn described the decision as "shameful", adding: "It's time the truth was told and the Government is failing in its responsibility by ruling out an inquiry."

Aberavon MP Stephen Kinnock branded Ms Rudd's decision an "absolute disgrace", while Barnsley MP Michael Dugher said it was "a complete betrayal of campaigners and a spit in the face for every former coalfield community".

Mr Dugher described the announcement as "a political decision to protect the interests of the Tory party".